tv CIA General Counsel Nominee Vows Independence at Confirmation Hearing CSPAN April 29, 2017 10:44am-12:17pm EDT
>> courtney simmons ellwood was nominated to be at the cia. she took questions on enhanced interrogation tech makes. she previously served under george w. bush. this hearing is an hour and a half. >> i call the hearing to order. i would like to welcome our witness today. congratulations on your nomination. i would like to record guys your husband. if wave your hand there. it thank you. i thank you for the support you give to courtney. you have served the country with
distinction or previous posts here and we appreciate your willingness to serve. our goal is to enable the committee to consider your qualifications and to allow for deliberation by our members. she has provided substantive written questions. for thoughtful deliberation by our members. she's provided substantive written questions -- answers to more than 90 questions presented by the committee and its members. today, of course, members will be able to ask additional questions and to hear from ms. elwood in this open session. courtney comes in front of the committee with the distinguished legal career. after graduating yale law school in 1994, courtney clerkd for the u.s. district court of appeals for the fourth circuit after which she went to clerk for chief justice william rehnquist of the supreme court sht she then took a job as the associate of kellogg, hub better, hanson
in the same firm where she is now a partner. january, 2001, she left the firm to serve as associate counsel to the president rising through the ranks to deputy counsel to the vice president and then department chief of staff and counsel to the attorney general. during the extremely difficult time in the days and weeks and months after 9/11, ms. elwood provided sound legal counsel to our nation's leaders as they considered what tools the intelligence community needed to combat terrorism and to secure our nation. ms. elwood, you've been asked to serve as the chief legal officer of the central intelligence agency at a time when the agency and the intelligence community as a whole faces complex legal questions and a host of k458 life threatening priorities. the cia's general counsel must provide sound and faim timely legal advice to the director and must manage an office responsibility for legal oversight and compliance at the world's premier intelligence
agency. but more than that, the cia general counsel maintains a vital public trust. part of your job will be to ensure for the american people that above all, the agency operates lawfully, ethically, and morally. since you left government service, the nature and number of challenges and threats the intelligence community is tracking have multiplied significantly. while americans continue to engage in robust debate about some intelligence authorities are right, appropriate, and lawful. i expect you to ensure that the agency operates within the bounds of the law and to ensure that the office of general counsel's position to provide the best legal advice possible to director pompeo and to the agency as a whole. this committee has received letters of support from your current and former colleagues. in a letter of support signed by those who snevd both democrat and republican administrations,
your former colleagues praised your acumen, integrity, and judgment and i quote deep respect for the rule of law. jack goldsmith, the professor at the harvard law school who has known you since you were a law student at yale, referred to you as a superb, independent-minded lawyer. a letter from the dc bar association on national security law policy and practices highlighted your deep-seeded commitment to the rule of law and to our democratic principles and your colleague ben powell former general counsel to the dni had this to say. she's simply one of the finest lawyers and persons i've ever worked with in my career. after meeting you, it's easy to see how you've garnered such widespread consistent acc lads. i know that your strong moral compass and sharp legal mind will serve you well as the general counsel of the central intelligence agency. as i mentioned the director of
pompeo during his nomination hearing, i can assure that you this committee will continue to faithfully follow its charter and conduct vigorous and realtime oversight over the intelligence community, it's operations and its activities. we'll ask difficult questions, probing questions of you and your staff and we expect honest, complete, and more importantly timely responses. i look forward to supporting your nomination and ensurg it's consideration without delay. thank you again for being here and for your service to the country. >> i look forward to your testimony. i now recognize the advice chairman for any opening statements he might make. >> thank you mr. chairman. welcome ms. elwood. again congratulations on your nomination to serve as general counsel of the cia. i see john as well. although i do have to question to a degree your legal judgment by bringing my friend tim kaine as an introducing factor, but i will overlook that.
obviously this position is a tremendous responsibility, one that requires a careful review of the qualifications and character of the individual nominated and i echo a lot of the comments that the chairman's made. if confirmed you'll be sittinga at a critical intersection between intelligence and policy making. as the kaye's top legal officer, the director will turn to you to make judgments on whether a contemplated activity is legal or not. this job requires a leader with unimpeachable integrity and unwaefrg commitment to the constitution laws of the united states. who will apply both sound legal analysis and good judgment, the task of providing counsel to the agency. during our conversation when we had a chance to visit you and i agreed that politics has no place in the kaye general counsel's office. we discussed the need to follow the law, including the army field manual, to ensure that torture does not tarnish the
reputation of the intelligence community or this country again. ms. elwood, during my questions i will again want your public assurance today that you will always seek to provide unbiased, unvarnished, and timely legal counsel to the director of the cia even when doing so might be inconvenient or uncomfortable. obviously there will abe number of challenges that will, i that kind of legal judgment going forward. those challenges will include making sure we continue to protect the privacy and civil libtsz of americans. the increasing use and relevance of vast amounts of public information creates a significant challenge and opportunity for the whole cia and the whole ic. we've got to always make sure that we're protecting the privacy and civil liberties of the united states citizens as we take on these -- these new tools moving forward. an issue that i know has a number of us on the committee have been very concerned about and i think will come back again
as encryption. again related to privacy concerns, the intelligence community needs to find ways to access the communications of our adversaries while protecting privacy rights and american commercial ingenuity. >> i believe we cannot tie the hands of our technology leaders by unilaterally disarming them with possible security loopholes, an area again that this committee has looked on is information sharing. the rapid change of information technology enables significant sharing of classified information and we must find -- work to find ways to have the appropriate level of sharing. and finally, a subject that has been a lot of the attention of the committee recently. chairman burr and i have committed to conduct a review of the intelligence supporting the intelligence community's assessment that russia at the direction of president vladimir putin sought to influence the 2016 u.s. presidential election. it's important that all americans fully understand the extent of russia's involvement. it is vital that the cia
pursuant to your legal guidance support our investigation to the maximum extent possible and allow this committee to follow the facts wherever they may lead. this is a charge i know i take seriously, all the members of the committee take seerlz, on behalf of the american people and we will continue to pursue this both thoroughly and expeditiously. i will again during my questions ask you to commit to me and all members of the committee that you willfully cooperate with this review and that you will do all you can to ensure that we've provide the information we, i to conduct it. with that, again, thank you for being here ms. elwood, and i look forward to today's hearing. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. advice chairman. i'd like to recognize our colleague, the distinguished senator from virginia, tim kaine, who will introduce ms. elwood. senator kane. >> thank you mr. chair, advice chair and members of the committee. this is an honor. one of my favorite things do is
bring talented van ians who are committed to the body before the council and ms. elwood is such an individual. i'm just going to warn you doing this in front of my seen yar senator and also the only alexandria native makes me feel a little bit nervous. and some of you need to know, the non-va ians need to know ms. elwood lives down the sfreet from senator warner and on that score mark, will you take your christmas lights down? that was a joke. actually she has trick or treated at senator warner's house in the first test of her discretion as an intel provision will be not revealing his costumes that she's seen over the years. as i said it's always rewarding. i know all of us feel this way about our states that we have deep talent pools of wonderful that are in public service and they don't get the thanks they deserve, the appreciation they deserve. but bringing somebody before this committee or others who is willing to serve in a really
important position does give me a real sense of pride. i think that people who arrive here are the creatures of their experience and so frequently that experience begins with an upbring in lessons learns through kids, teachers, grandparents, counselors or other mentors. and with ms. elwood that's no exception. she had a foundation in family that really laid the groundwork for her public service career. her father the late general edwin simmons served in world war ii, korea where are and vietnam as a united states marine and his legacy continues. one of the buildings in quantity tickco is named after her dad and her mother was a dedicated public serve vantd as well working and traveling the world in the foreign service before settling in northern virginia. courtney's been a path breaker in her career. she was in the first class of a high school in fair fax west
potomac high school that was formed through the merger of two very competitive high schools, and this first class had to create new traditions and brings folks that had at least on the athletic field been rivals before. and then the she went to undergrad at lee and people say she must have been a feminist because she raised her hand. so she's been willing to be a path breaker and has had encouragement from family and proefrz do that. when cartny finished at wl, as was mentioned she went to yale law school and she worked with our senate colleagues, the younger senators bennett and koons who were at yale law school the same time she was. she's now worked in the legal provision for profession for 20 years and the chairman went through some of her experience serving as a clerk in the fourth circuit,
serving for clerk for chief justice rehnquist, counsel in the white house, the office of vice president, the department of justice, abd also know many of courtney's law partners in private practice well and it's a private firm that is filled with people who are very public spirited, democrats and republicans, they appreciate those who are public spirited. and i know courtney has absorbed that lesson from them as well. courtney will, i know, talk about her family. her husband john is here, the two boys ages 15 and 12 live in alexandria, they're in school today. but i'll just conclude and say that so much of what we do depends upon the talent of the people that we bring into these very, very difficult positions. and with courtney elwood, you have somebody of a sterling professional background but more importantly for purposes of this position with a sterling reputation for integrity that is necessary in the cia general counsel position. it's my on this present her to the committee. and as i said to the chairman, i have a bilk marked up in the
help committee. usually my bills go better when i'm not there, but i probably should at least go up to make sure that that's okay. so i hope you'll excuse me so i can head upstairs. >> tim, thank you. you are excused and if you would shepard my bill through. >> his is being marked up as well. thank you so much. >> i was hoping we'd have a chance to question senator kaine. >> i would second that. >> i think i'd prefer do that in closed session. ms. elwood, would you please stand and raise your right hand. do you skol lemly swear to give this committee the truth, the full truth, and nothing but the truth so hip god. >> i do, sir. >> please be seated. >> courtney, before we move to your statement, i'd like to ask you to answer five questions that the committee poses to each nominee who appears before us. they, i just a simple yes or no answer for the record. do you agree to appear before the committee here or in any other venue when you're invited?
>> yes, sir. >> if confirmed, do you agree to send officials from your office to appear before the committee and designated staff when invited? >> yes, sir. >> do you agree to provide documents or any other materials requested by the committee in order for it -- for us to carry out our oversight function and legislative responsibilities? >> yes, consistent with the law. >> will you both ensure that your office and your staff provide such materials to the committee when requested? >> yes, consistent with the law. >> do you agree continue to form and fully brief to the fullest extent possible all members of this committee of intelligence activities and covert action rather than only the chair and the advice chair? >> again, consistent with the law, yes, sir. >> thank you very much. we'll now proceed to your opening statement after which i'll recognize members by seniority for up to five minutes of questions. ms. elwood, welcome and the floor is yours. >> thank you. chairman burr, advice chairman
warner, members of the committee. it is an honor to appear before you as the nominee to be general counsel of the central intelligence agency. i want to thank president trump and director pompeo for their trust and confidence in me. i also want to thank senator kaip kane for that nice production. it was a great privilege and pleasure to meet not just one but both of my home state senators as part of this process. i'd like to use this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about me and what i view as essential qualifications for a cia general counsel. i come from a national security family. as senator kaine alluded, my father devoted his life to the marine corps and to this country. he spent 36 years in uniform seeing active combat in world war ii, korea, and vietnam. there is little doubt that good intelligence kept him and his men alive during those years.
he would later write about the remarkably good intelligence brought by bold foreign agents during his fight. when he returned home in 1970 run we are formed the marine history division which he led for 24 years. he was a prolific author of military histories and he supported the work of many other military horn military historians. he did so because he lefd there were lessons to be learned from the great achieve ments and the mistakes of u.s. warfare, mibs mistakes that future generations must not forget. my mother in her own way was no less brave and tough than her marine husband. she overcame poverty and more than her share of life's adversities to have a career in the foreign service before she married and raised our family. the lessons around our kitchen
table were about personal responsibility, honor and val lor. we were taught to adhere to our principles even if it comes at great personal or professional sacrifice. we were taught there is a clear difference between right and wrong, and we heard stories about america's place in this world as a force for good. if my parents were alive today, they would take great pride in my being considered for this position. it is thanks to them that i believe i have some of the necessary qualifications. chairman burr has spoken eloquently of the first prerequisite, unwavering integrity. in addressing director pompeo's fitness for his position, chairman burr rightly observed that because the cia is an agency that works in the shadows, it requires a leader to be unwavering in integrity, who will ensure that the
organization operates lawfully, ethically, and morally. i believe the same holds true for its general counsel. i hope and believe that people who know me well would tell you that i'm a person of integrity. i certainly have lived my life with that goal at the forefront of my mind. a second prerequisite for the job is independence. there have been many times in my life where it would have been easier to go along to get along or to be for what's going to happen, but i haven't done so. when the law or circumstances have required, i have told clients and superiors things they didn't want to hear. if i were not prepared do the same in this position, i would not accept the challenge. and if confirmed for this position, i will tell the attorneys of the office that i expect the same from them. but these qualities, integrity
and independence are already imbetded in the cia. they have placed among its core competencies for all senior officers, quote, the integrity, courage, moral, intellectual and physical, to seek and speak the truth, to innope vate and change things for the better regardless of personal or professional risk. it would be an honor to join a community that quietly lives those values and to work side by side with the dedicated and skilled professionals who have labored in anonymity to keep this country safe. of course an effective general counsel of the cia must also have strong legal skills. you have heard my background in this respect. i have had the privilege of many great teachers, mentors and role models, more than i could possibly thank. but today, one stands above the
rest. chief justice william h. rehnquist. the chief showed us it was possible to adhere to your principles without alienating those who hold other views. a prime example is that justice william brennan considered the chief to be his best friend on the court. the chief built warm, personal relationships with all of his colleagues through his modesty and humor by being unfailingly civil and fair, by focusing on points of agreement over disagreement, and by listening and making accommodations where possible. i have tried to follow his example in all aspects of my life. finally, and with your indulgence, i'd like to take a moment again to recognize my constant and shining example of all the attributes i've mentioned today, my husband of more than 20 years, john elwood. there are also two other people
whom i'd like to mention and who are dearest to our hearts, our two wonderful children. i hope that 50 years from now they will look back on my service to this country with pride so that i could give you my undivided attention, they have remained in school today. so with that, i look order in to answering your questions. >> ms. elwood thank you for that very fine statement and i hope that the school is accommodating by letting your kids possibly watch this on tv. ms. elwood, there have been -- there's been much discussion about the role of the central intelligence agency and how it played into the detention and i teargation of suspects as part of the rdi program. those detention facilities operated by the cia have long since been closed and president obama end the program seven
years ago. i think the debate space on this subject has become confused and i'm certain that the law is now very clear. here's my question. do you agree that it would, i a change in law for the cia or any government agency to lawfully employ any interrogation techniques beyond those defined in the army field manual? >> yes, sir. >> the intelligence community is at its strongest when operating with the full confidence that it's activities are legal, moral, and ethical and thereby in line with the public's trust. i think it's also safe to say that increasing judicial and congressional oversight only increases that public trust. do you believe that president bush's terrorist surveillance program was strengthened when we brought under -- when we brought it under fisa court and congressional oversight in 2007?
>> yes. mr. chairman, i believed at the time and i believe today that the legal foundation for what became known as the president's terrorist surveillance program was strengthened by bringing it under the then existing fisa provisions and the review of the fisa court. >> great. before i turn to the advice chairman, i'd like to make one final comment in lieu of a question. you noted in your opening statement that a second prerequisite to the job is independence. i, and many of my colleagues would agree wholeheartedly with that statement. being an independent voice is not always easy and you'll be asked repeatedly to speak truth to power when serving as a cia's general counsel. i think you've displayed in your career the ability to be independent and i'm confident that you will continue to do so at the cia. thank you. >> thank you, chairman. >> vice chairman.
>> it up ms. elwood again for your very eloquent opening statement and our opportunity to vis. >> i the following up on the chairman's comments about rendition and the fact that the law is very clear in terms of the fact that the army field manual applies to cia interrogations, one of the things that during the confirmation process of director pompeo, he committed to reviewing parts of a classified study on rendition and interrogation that are relevant. will you likewise commit to reading and reviewing these -- those parts of that classified study that are relevant to the office of the general counsel? >> yes, sir. >> this committee's spend ang awful lot of time as you are aware and the press is made aware as well on the russian investigation. we have asked the chairman and i
and received in many ways unprecedented access that has been the subject of some fairly extensive discussion, but the chairman and i have worked through that with the director of the cia. but there will be -- this is an ongoing process so we're going to need additional information. so my question is, you can commit to ensuring that this committee will be provided with all the information requested pursuant to our ongoing russian investigation and that you, yourself, will do everything within your power to make sure that this is done, including by making available all necessary materials, intelligence reports, cia cables, products and other materials requested as promptly as possible and finally to ensure that the cia personnel be made available for interviews as requested by this committee? >> yes, sir. consistent with the law. i do make that commitment. i, as we expressed in our private conversation, i view the work that the committee is doing as being vitally important and i'd like to commend your
leadership on that as an american and as a virginian, i was very pleased by the leadership that you and the chairman have shown on the investigation. it is very serious work. >> well, this will go to the heart of, again, independence. there have been times with director pompeo and i understand he has equities as well, but it is absolutely critical that we follow the intelligence wherever it leads and, again, we're going to need your help going forward. one other question i have is -- and i know fellow members of the committee have raised this at times. i think we may need a fresh look at kind of the whole gang of eight and who's briefed and when they're not briefed and the timeliness of those briefings. will you commit to making sure that with those matters that are not involving gang of eight covert action notification and
other information regarding time-sensitive tactical matters that you will commit to fully briefing the whole committee in as timely a manner as possible? >> senator, as i've heard in my private conversations with you and others, the frustration that you feel or that other members of the committee feel when they don't get briefed in. and i do think that this is an opportunity at this time with director pompeo and director coats having sat in the chairs that you sit in to sort of -- to revisit some of the practices of the past and to make sure that the full committees are briefed to the maximum extent possible consistent with obligations to protect the, in rare instances, exceptionally sensitive information. >> i think the chairman and i both would rather the committee bear all the information that we often have and so i think there have been times and other members of this committee have
brought thup where under the frame of the gang of eight that becomes information that gets caught in that bucket and then never at least so far has been able to have been shared with other members. i think it's appropriate to have a fresh look at this issue. >> i certainly will follow the lead of director pompeo and director coats on this. and i'll note that director coats had commented that is often a conversation with the leadership on when they extend the breesk to the full committee, that he works or in the past the director has worked with the chair and the vice chair on timing of extending the -- >> the more we can get all the members read in on more activities, i think the better. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator blunt. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ms. elwood it's good to have you here. i was appreciative of your testimony and your desire to follow in the public service commitments that both your mother and your father had and
very much in line with when i asked you when we had a chance to visit why would you take this job, this is a hard job at a hard time and it's good to have you step forward to do it. i've got several questions about frankly the terror surveillance program and not very long to ask them, so if others want to further exhaust your answers, i'd ask you to keep these relatively brief. but i notice a number of the questions you were asked to respond to it was about that program. give me a sense, what were the jobs you had on 9/11 and after and then the rest of your service as -- in the bush administration. >> so leading up to 9/11 nobody obviously was anticipating at least not in my level, my role in the associate's counsel's office had nothing do with national security, frankly. but we all became sort of focused on national security. we were in the white house on september 11th and immediately
thereafter i and a couple members of my office were sent to the senate to -- and to the house to negotiate the patriot act. >> and were you working then for the justice department or the vice president? >> no, on september 11th i was working for the -- i was associate counsel to the president, so i was in the office of the president and i stayed in that position until may, 2002, when we had our first child i returned to government service in january or february of 2003, i think it was january of 2003, to the office of vice president where i stayed until the beginning of 2005. >> and then you were where? >> then i went with judge gonzalez to the terp general's front office. >> and your job there was what? >> chief of staff and assistant to the attorney general and as any staffer in your office would tell you it changes by the day but by and large mire portfolio
fell under the associate attorney general's portfolio so it would be those components that fall in the department of justice under the associate attorney general, the civil division. in addition, i would monitor the office legal douns counsel, the office solicit it general among others. >> what would you have known in that job or what did you know about the terror surveillance program? >> senator, i learned or my work on -- i learned and my work on the terror surveillance program began in december of 2005 when the president publicly disclosed that aspect of the president's surveillance program. >> best of your knowledge, were you aware of it before that? >> no, sir. >> and what was -- do you -- did you have a reason to have i reaction at the time to the critics of the program, critics like david -- david kwlois w
was -- chris? >> interestingly fluff, david and i are old friends and have known each other forever and once he heard about it he kind of asked me, so what are the legal authorities that support this. and we had a conversation. i was aware of the public statements about the legal authorities supporting the program, and we had a conversation and some communications about it and ultimately he did not agree with the -- all of the reasoning but he recognized that, you know, as i did that these are complex issues on which reasonable people could disagree. >> be fair to characterize him as a public critic of the program, wouldn't it? >> yes, sir. >> and is he -- i notice he's one of the people recommending you for this job? >> yes, sir. he very kindly sent a letter of support and actually organized a letter of support on my behalf. >> are there other people who were critics of that program who
are included on that list or not? >> i'm quite confident that there are people who have signed a letter of support who did not think many of the things that occurred in the bush administration would be things that they would agree with. but i don't know of any others who have publicly stated. >> and how do you think that experience of the terror surveillance program and what happened when there was a disagreement, how do you think that would impact the way you would serve in this job? >> that's a very interesting question. i think that my experience with respect to that important program and how it was handled initially and then through the reexamination of the legality of the program in 2004, we hope we learn from how things were handled initially and the
intense secrecy around the program even within the executive branch. i believe i am -- would be more prepared or would be better -- be able to better advise the director on how to ensure that programs that will necessarily be secret if they should be disclosed are thoroughly thought through and recognizing that, you know, in some instances you'll have to publicly justify how decisions are made on the front end and on the back end. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator feinstein. >> thanks very much, mr. chairman. i just want to begin by saying i was really very pleased to meet you, have an opportunity to speak with you, and i very much respect your experience and your intellect. i'm going to put the question that the chairman asked you in a
slightly, well, harsher view, but i think it's a real view. during his campaign, president-elect trump publicly called for u.s. forces to use torture in the war on terror. he said he'd reinstitute waterboarding which he called a minor form of torture and bring back, quote, a haell of a lot worse than waterboarding. this brought a lot of condemnation from our allies and own intelligence security professionals who did not believe that this -- these particular eits were effective in producing operational tels. director pompeo said at one point early on that he would support the return of waterboarding. jeana has cell said that she would. when i talked with both of them and asked hard questions, they had made very strong statements
against it both in writing and before this committee. so let me ask you the same question i asked director pompeo in his confirmation hearing. if you were ordered by the president -- excuse me. if the cia were ordered by the president to restart the cia's use of enhanced interrogation techniques that fall outside the army field manual, dwou -- what would you do? what would do you as general counsel? >> i absolutely would not follow that order. >> but what would you do? >> i would inform the president that that would be a violation of the law and that i would ensure that the direct -- i am confident that the director would also impress upon the president that that would be an unlawful act. >> so you would specifically take it as your responsibility as general counsel to do so? >> absolutely. >> okay.
thank you. in your pre-hearing questionnaire you were asked do you support the standards for detainee treatment spres specified in the revised army field manual on interrogation as required by section 1045 of the national defense authorization act for fy '16. could you please here under oath reaffirm your commitment to fully comply with all governing interrogations including the legal bar on the use of any interrogation method not listed in the army field manual. >> senator feinstein, i commit not only 10 to surg that the cia complies with the letter, but also the spirit of that law. >> okay. . thank you, that's good. you informed me earlier this week that you have read the full 500-page, declassified executive summary of the senate intelligence committee study on the cia's detention and
interrogation program. while some may have -- continue to have differences of opinion, the senate report is fact-based on documents, cables, e-mails and to the best of my reading, nothing in the report has been refuted. i think i mentioned to you if the cia had a problem with any of it, we looked at that, we made some changes where we felt the cia was correct and where we felt they were wrong. we so noted it. but their view is in that report. the full report is more than 6,700 pages with nearly 38,000 footnotes. i believe it's time to acknowledge truthfully what was done and then move forward with strength and resolve to make sure that a program like this never happens again. would you commit to this committee that you will read the
classified version of the report's findings and conclusions if confirmed as general counsel? >> yes, senator feinstein, i'd be particularly interested in the parts of the report that addressed the general counsel's office. >> thank you. but that's just a small part of the report. >> i'll commit to the whole thing, but those are where my -- that would obviously be my focus. >> it's a long read, but if you look at things like where the agency has detailed 25 cases where they believed it was responsible for their apprehension, the report, in classified version, details where the information actually came from that led to that. and i think -- i feel very strongly that the time is coming for this report to be declassified, that it should not be hidden, that people in government ought to read it, people in areas of
responsibility ought to read it, and to shy away from it because it is an official document now, i think it is a mistake. as you know president obama did put it in his library so at least it's perpetuated there. second question, use of contractors. this is one of the things i have been most concerned with. and not the least was -- it wasn't lost on me that three big cases where materials disappeared and security was broken were done by contractors. and including the largest one, edward snowden and more recently hal martin. previously when i worked with panetta he would agree to decrease a certain percentage a
year in the number of contractors, and the number of contractors has gone down. a government contractors are only supposed to be used if they are performing tasks that are not an inherent governmental function. so intelligence collection clearly is inherently governmental as a function, and i think that we need to continue to reduce the number of contractors. question i have for you is do you agree that intelligence work is clearly and inherently governmental function? >> senator feinstein you raise an excellent point and it does sound like a core government function to me. and i think you raise a very important issue with respect to the use of contractors. >> thank you. i agree with that. and i have -- my time has expired. thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator cornyn. >> ms. elwood, welcome and
congratulations to you and your family on this tremendous honor. i would -- i know you've been asked about the russia investigation by the -- by senator warner, and i would just suggest that the same challenge that you and director pompeo will face and the importance of your integrity, resilience and courage in withstanding outside pressure, the same sorts of characteristics i think ever going to need to be demonstrated by this committee to main taint bipartisan leadership that chairman burr and senator warner have provided because there's going to be an awful lot of people who are going to try influence this committee and get us off track. so the same challenges to our integrity, resilience, and courage to resist pressure from outside groups that you'll be having to demonstrate we will as well. you've been asked a lot about
post-9/11 interrogation and other practices. it really is kind of amazing to me that here we are 16 years after 9/11, the chairman mentioned seven years, i think, since some of the practices that have been asked about have long since ended. where we continue to revisit these decisions which were made, i think, consistent with the appropriate legal authority at the time. i'm very troubled by the idea that you, as the general counsel and the lawyers in the administration are going to be telling intelligence officers you can do this, you can't do that. and if consistent with legal authority that you identify they do something that later on they're going to be criticized, perhaps, for political or other reasons for doing what is legally authorized. so you can tell white house is the final legal authority on the scope of activities of the
central intelligence agency? >> well, ultimately under long-standing 18th century precedent, the attorney general is the ultimate mate determiner of the scope of, you know, the legal authorities by any government agency. >> and that's because these cases don't go to court typically, right. >> generally not. >> there are of course exceptions, the hom dong case and others where there is the supreme court, but i think this is an area where people are somewhat confused. they think that this is black letter law and often it's a matter of legal opinion by the office of legal counsel at the attorney general's office, correct? >> yes. senator, as i was alluding to in my conversations with david chris or on many of these complex issues there's a range of reasonable interpretations and the department of justice or the lawyers being asked to provide an opinion, give their best reading of the law. but it doesn't mean that there can't be another interpretation
that is reasonable, that the bept of justice ultimately gives its best reading of the law. >> and just because somebody disagrees with the legal opinion doesn't mean that the authorities that you've identified or that other lawyers in the administration identify as conferring that authority, doesn't mean that's wrong either, does it? >> that's true, yes, sir. >> so i think this is -- this is a real problem for the intelligence community because, as i mentioned during director pompeo's confirmation hearing, i like general haden's book and concept of playing to the edge, but you're going to be the one that draws that line of demarcation and identifies where that evening is. and if intelligence officers play to the edge in order to maintain our national security here in the united states, i don't want them to be criticized later on or taken to court, publicly humiliated or even forced to buy liability
insurance for doing their job. >> yes where are senator, as part of this process in preparation fror it i reviewed the transcripts of some people who were nominated to this position, and i noted that some of the senators were stressing the importance that the lawyers go to the legal limits. so, you know, back not that the many years ago the lawyers were being criticized for being too conservative. >> post-9/11 we didn't know as a nation, certainly not as a government whether there would be follow-on attacks and so you are under a tremendous or intelligence communities were under tremendous pressure by members of congress and others to go as far as you legally could, correct? >> yes, sir, absolutely. >> and i guess it's just human nature in the safety and security after the pass ang of years when we don't feel this
eminent threat then we decide well, maybe we didn't need go as far as we did. i appreciate the answer to the questions and i do believe that you're qualified for this position. thank you for your willingness to take it on, thanks to your family for their support. >> is you, senator cornyn. >> senator we den. >> during his confirmation process, i asked director pompeo about what he considered to be the boundaries that applied to the surveillance of americans. he said those boundaries are set by law. you are the nominee to be the general counsel who, if confirmed, would advise the director of those boundaries. because the advice is classified and may not even be known to the committee, it's critical that we get a sense of your views on the law prior to voting. so, to me, one of the most
important legal malters facitte the agency is how it should handle large amounts of information of americans who are not suspected of anything. >> i also asked director pompeo about this he said woe consult with the lawyer and so to speak now the committee gets to ask the lawyer. you have written that the attorney general guidelines governing collection on 12 triple three would impose, and i quote here, stringent and detailed restrictions on big batches of information that include information on americans. i read the guidelines differently. the cia can cia can actually conduct searches of those batches looking for persons -- looking for information on americans. so my question to you deals with a statement you gave us, what stringent restrictions,
specifically, are you talking about? >> senator, as you know the attorney general guidelines are publicly available and they are public, they're not a secret. >> i want to know what you considered to be restrictions? >> there are numerous restrictions and it depends upon the particular, there are obviously let stringent use and retention requirements with respect to publicly available information. but even there, if it's u.s. person information, still the cia's use of it is restricted and then it's a 3 page single space document providing a framework. >> give me an example, because the way i read it, none of this changes the fact that the agency can conduct searches looking for information on law abiding americans where there is no that
they're suspected of anything. so i just like to hear you tell me since you stated it in writing, what stringent restrictions would protect that law abiding american? >> for example, senator, before certain information is queried, it has to -- they be standard that is applied with restrict -- it is not simply the query, it has to begin for necessary to no public query with respect to public information can't go any further than the necessary extent to further that purpose. now, with respect to different categories of information that are collected under different authorities, so, two, has a different standard, as you know,
than a information reflected under 12333. i don't want to be inarticulate about the standards. i want to be precise. they are spelled out in a public document. >> and i'll hold the record open for this i would just like to have you give me some concrete examples. >> i'm happy to do that. none of what you have said changes the fact that the agency can conduct searches looking for information on law abiding americans where there is no requirement they're suspected of anything. >> senator. there has to be a link to an unauthorized activity of the cia, at the bare minimum, even to search publicly available information. there are far more stringent requirements with respect to collections, depending upon the
type of information. so i don't agree with you, senator, that there's no rate on it. >> you give me example of stringent restrictions. let me see if i have one other -- the agency spied on the committee searching our computers, turned around and filed a crimes report with the department of justice against committee staffers. the inspector general found no basis for the crimes report and it was based solely on inaccurate information provided by two attorneys from the cia's office of general counsel. if, you confirmed, will be supervising those attorneys. do you think there ought to be any accountability? >> i understand there was an accountability board convened, looked at that issue already and exonerated the lawyers involved. >> do you believe there should be any accountability when those
lawyers provide inaccurate information. >> senator, i understand there was already independent accountability. >> i want to hear about what you do going forward. >> certainly, going forward -- if there was a situation like that to arise again and if the facts presented themselves in a situation where the lawyers had not done something properly, absolutely, i would insist on accountability. abdomen proceed accordingly, that's going forward. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for joining us today. >> in reviewing your responses there was one thing that concerned me across your responses. and it's that you repeatedly repeat some very similar verb aj a -- verbiage. you said at one point you had not "had personal experiences" with issues raised by the
committee. you have not had previously had the to consider issues raised by the committee or that you have not, quote, not done the legal and factual research that was properly required to answer important questions end quote as such as the techniques are consistent with the detae knee consistent act. you will be the principle legal adviser and you will be responsible for overseeing the cia's office of general counsel. if confirmed, i hope that your lack of exposure to the issues that we've raised will not encumber your ability to provide thorough, accurate and effective legal advice to the cia from day one. so i want to go from here, since you have -- you didn't express strong opinions on specific questions that the committee has
asked. i would like to focus broadly granted by covert action authorizations and by presidential memorandums of notification. these authorizations spell out the strategic goals and approved actives of individual covert actions. is it your view that the authorized covert actions of the cia are bound by the text of those authorities and that the cia may not read into those authorities activities that are not explicitly improved within there? >> senator, i assume that there is vigorous oversight by the general counsel's office to ensure that the findings are written carefully and that the activities undertaken under the findings are consistent with the findings. >> what i'm saying is that
they -- it is my interpretation that those activities have to be explicitly authorized within either a covert action authorization or memorandum of notification. so is it your view that the authorized covert activities of the agency are bound by the text of those authorities, in terms of, explicitly authorizing activities or can the agency read into those authorization. >> i would interpret it as a statute. it would not have to be explicit that every potential action be explicitly stated in the findings, that would have to be a proper interpretation of one. >> i'll give you an example that concerns me, the september 13, 2001 memorandum of notification that authorized the capture and detention program, for example, made no reference to interrogations or to coercive
interrogation techniques, yet it was repeatedly cited by the agency as the foundational authorization for that interrogation program. so just putting aside the bigger issues of whether the interrogation techniques themselves were in violation of any laws or treaty obligations based on the lack of explicit authorization. do you believe that they were consistent with the approved authorities as it was written? >> i have neither looked at that particular or do i know anything beyond the executive authority of the senate study to answer that question, specifically. but i believe it deserves -- nobody has raised that that was not a fair reading of the notification. >> well, i'm raising it. >> right. >> whether or not you reviewed it isn't relevant to my underlying concern.
we need to be confident that the agency is not exceeding its approved authority. so if you can't give us your view on the proper scope of covert action authorities as a basic principle. it's difficult for me to be confident that under your legal guidance, the agency won't engage in activities that go beyond. >> it is a common practice in my legal years of 20 experience and also my experience as a clerk, to have a statute or a rule of law provided and you're not going to have a statute describe every possible activity to fall within the scope of the statute, but there could be a fair reading of the statute that would put things within the statute or without the statute. and i would envision the same sort of legal analysis that i've been doing for more than 20 years would apply in the context of memorandum of notification.
>> i'll yield back my time. >> thank you, i didn't see you over there, senator. >> welcome to the committee. you've started your introductory by taurkilking about your dad's military with history. i want to commend to my colleagues in the middle of hr mcmaster's book about vietnam, d deralation of duty. you've given me an opportunity to mention what i think is a very important book that should be read by everyone up here. >> yes, sir. i understand that that's not being taught in the officer training course.
>> i hope general mcmaster's also rereading it himself, given his new position. in your answer to -- i think it was chairman burs, one of his opening question, you thought the 2007 law strengthened the legal basis for the terrorist surveillance program, that implies -- does that imply that you believe that there was a legal basis for it. in other words, does the president have inherent article 2 power to do warrantless surveillance of u.s. citizens? >> senator, the legal authorities under pending the terrorist surveillance program as described in the public white paper i reviewed and then the much longer than classified but largely declassified opinion did not rest entirely on the two authorities, but also rested first on the authorities provided by the aumf.
>> the 2001 aumf? >> yes, sir. >> let's exclude that for a moment, do you believe that the president has inherent authority over provision article ii to warrantless surveillance of a person? >> under existing law, absolutely not. >> that gets to a more subtle question along these lines, as i understand the way fisa is interpreted, you can surveil foreign persons and there is i understand dental, there may be so-called i understand dental -- collection on american persons, the question then, is, does it take further interaction with the fisa court in order to queery -- query the data that
involves u.s. persons. >> it sets out the parameter and framework for that type of querying. and then subsequently does not revisit any time individual query has taken place. >> you see my question, the question is reversed targeting, you can be going after foreign person and that becomes the focus. >> well, reverse targeting is prohibited expressly. >> and you don't believe that that is a potential issue or problem because of that express prohibition. >> i don't, senator, i think that reversed targeting is with the intention of actually picking up an -- a u.s. citizen's or u.s. persons communication, but creating the fig leaf by targeting by somebody at the side that they know they'll be communicating with. what we're talking about with respect to incidental and there
are multiple playelayers. >> my understand is the government has taken the position in the recent past, under the prior administration, once that data is in the databa database then they can query about the u.s. person without further approval of anyone. >> without going back to the fisa court, it would be a director brennan and perhaps director clapper, as well, said that would be a big mistake would require going back to the court, again, each time there needed to be a query of the -- and we're talking about here about the '72 collection. there are multiple layers of oversight, including by the department of justice, the office of the dni and the executive branch -- >> all of that oversight you just enunciated is all within the executive branch.
i like having the independent body having a court involved in it. >> having a court doing every warrant or an order on every one of those would mean far fewer of them are done and it can seriously hamper the operational impact. i'm looking forward to, if confirmed, getting an opportunity to see -- >> you have to understand that this is a boot strap operation where you are, in fact, talking about the authorization of a warra warrantless examination of a u.s. person's correspondence. >> if i might add, sir, there is more than just -- there is an independent bipartisan board that also oversees these queries and has looked at it thoroughly and has determined there was not a trace, there was no trace of illegitimate activity with respect to these sorts of queries. it is layer upon layer upon layer of existing oversight. you're right, you don't have to go to the court each time you want a query, but the court is
involved in setting up the procedures from the front end and there are multiple layers of oversight on the back end and while it may not -- it may seem like the fox guarding the hen house, it's not. this is serious oversight by the odni and by the department of justice checking every single query every 60 days. >> i understand your position and appreciate it. i understand thremain concernede troll of data that can be queried without further intervention by the court. we can follow up on that. >> if i'm confirmed, i look forward to that discussion. >> senator langford. >> we meet again.
. i always like to be able to remind people and that for the folks that serve as the cia, they don't wear uniforms, they serve all around the world, they don't get parades. they don't get recognition and no one seeing them -- sees them at a restaurant and buys their meal to say thank you because no one knows who they are. >> any time i'm at langley and i walk down the halls, i see people think they're thinking about tucking their kids in at night. they're counting on having a really good counsel because they deal with really hard issues. they need great advice. sometimes they need it really fast. >> you make a very valuable point about these men and women who labor in enminty to keep
this country great. >> you've been around a lot of these hard conversations and been through it. so we're glad. i need to ask you that your predecessor has also said is hard, so recently, in fact, this week the person you'll be replacing had a speech and in her speech at georgetown university law school, of all the issues she listed this. she said, i think the hardest legal questions were those that surround cyber. it's an evolving area of the law trying to determine answers to questions like what constitutes the use of force, where are the measures to combat such a use of force. they're really difficult issues and they're issues we're struggling with on this committee. there are issues that this others have complained about literally. and we're well behind the curve
on dealing with a doctrine issue. we'll have to write new statute, it's going to have to interpret a lot of the issues. so my question to you is a more general one and drive into it, will you be a part of helping craft a cyber doctrine and will you be willing to interact with this committee to say, this is area that is too gray. i'm going to have to make a decision that puts the people of the cia too vulnerable, we need statute to clarify this and to be able to help us through the process so we don't put the good people at the cia at risk and we don't make everyone second guess what can and can't be done. >> you raise a very important issue. i would be delighted if confirmed to work with you on that and it's an issue that other members have raised with me in our conversation as well. i certainly respect carolyn who is a long-time friend.
she's been advising through this process and i'll be look forward to working with her in this process should i be confirmed in this role. >> as you go through this process, know this committee is thinking about cyber doctrine a lot and how we can actually get that established, how we work agency to agency, how we work through the whole of united states government on that and what is needed to be able to help provide clarity on that. we look forward to that type of cooperation and direction we're going to go. we've talked a lot about protecting the american people that's the other side of this, that folks that work in the cia are counting on having a really good counsel. the american people are looking to have a good lawyer in the middle of it that's able to push back and be able to say, no. that's something that violates constitutional rights. you're the first line of that accountability, in many lines.
there's good follow up and tracking and oversight through the process, the first line of that would be you. so there are a couple of things that i need to be able to hear quickly from you, one is that you understand you're not only the cia's lawyer but you're the first line of defense for the american people and protecting their constitutional rights. and the second part is protecting sources and methods worldwide that are essential for their security and for national security, as well. >> yes, senator. you know, the client of the general counsel or the cia, the agent is an institution. and ultimately, the united states. and it is important for the agency to use the intelligence gathering tools that congress has provided, they must do so lawfully, protecting the privacy rights and civil liberties of all americans. >> that's great. thank you, mr. chairman, i yield
back. >> the american people, generally, have a right to make sure that this agency is following the law. but the american people, generally, will have no visibility into the process by which you counsel your client, the agency. the question that i have for you often secret guidance that you'll give the agency. >> two points that i would like to make in response to that, senator harris, the first is i will, obviously, provide the director and the men and women of the agency with my sound legal advice, i also provide them with my judgment, sometimes things are legally, as you know, but unwise. but with respect to ensuring that this committee is aware, i
have a legal obligation, as you know, under the national security act to make sure that this committee is informed of the legal basis that under pan any of the cia's intelligence activities and i would fully and timely provide that. i have legal by sis. >> how would you propose to do that? for example, would this be through congressional photo notification. how could we as a committee expect you to reach out to us? >> one is any time the committee request information with respect to the legal basis, i have an obligation to respond and then secondly there's a new provision within the national security act that requires a notification to the committee of any sort of novel or significant -- new legal interpretations under the law. and i would, obviously, compile of that, as well. >> let's talk a lit about what
we -- i would like to hear about your interpretation of what is significant. in your questions for the record you mentioned that and indicated that you would give to timely completed information about the agencies significant intelligence activities and failures around protecting and other sensitive information. based on your experience, what circumstances would be considered significant and who would make the determination of significance? >> senator harris, that's an excellent question. i have not had firsthand experience with what is significance and what falls under it. i look to pass practice, as well as common sense in determining whether something rises to the level of notification. i know from conversations i've had from congressional affairs. and also reading about it and the history about it. the amount of notifications that this committee gets is
extraordinary, multiple, a day. and i would -- so i assume from that that the threshold is fairly low and what is significant, but i don't have any additional information to provide with respect to how i would define that. >> what would -- what character, for example, let's talk about the russia investigation. would you agree that any information or developments as it relates to russia's role in the 2016 election would be significant. >> if something was new in that -- cia had information about, i would imagine that would rise to the level of significant. >> well, they've already done it, the elections past, so it would not be new -- >> new information. >> yeah, you're saying if there's any information, if it's not new, you would not consider that significant in terms of considering. >> if it already been shared, if it was just redundant.
i would examine it, obviously, on a case-by-case basis. and based upon how the office has been doing it for many years and being consistent with that. >> are you willing to commit this committee that if you come across information that relates to that incident of russia tampering with the 2016 election, and if you become aware that that information has not been shared with this committee, that you will share it with this committee, because it is significant? >> i have no reason to think that it would not rise -- it would be insignificant. it sound like something that would be significant given the work that the work is doing on that investigation. >> okay. and that means, yes. >> sounds like it. >> okay. i'm going to hold you to that. i'm interpreting that as a yes. it sound like that my committee is, as well. thank you for that. the role is general counsel is provide legal advice, do you agree that the role of general council position on all matters related to the cia, free from
political consideration. >> absolutely. >> and if confirmed will you provide guidance if it ran counter to the administration's policy or statements during the campaign or afterwards. >> absolutely, senator. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> senator collins. >> thank you mr. chairman. first, let me say this, that i very much appreciated the office meeting that we had in which we went over many of the issues that have been raised here today and i believe that you appeared to have an extraordinary background for this very important house. i do want to get on the record issues that we discussed in my office, one, is that referred to the fact that the cia council during the agency's enhanced interrogation program wrote in
his autobiography that it was a big mistake that all members of the intelligence committees were not briefed on the program until 2006, which was four years after it was defined and indeed for the secretary of defense and the secretary of state. do you agree with his view that it was a mistake for congress not to have been briefed on this program, the intelligence committee, i should say, the full. >> in a more timely way, yes. >> second, i want to follow up on an issue that several members have mentioned, senator langford, senator paris, but in a more direct way.
and that is, in the private sector when you are council to corporate entity, for example, it's very clear where your loyalties lie and who your client is. so i want to talk to you just a little bit more to flush out what you've already been asked by asking you what is your understanding of who would be your primary client of general counsel of the cia. >> the client of the general counsel of the cia is agency of institution and ultimately of the united states. casually, we think of the director or the men and women at an agency as being the cia's
client. that is only true in their official capacities, if they are interest diverged of that of the agency, that cia lawyer could no longer represent them. and i remember very well when i was in the council's office thinking often and being reminded often that we did not represent the president. we represented the office of the president. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> congratulations on the well deserved nomination. the obama administration threw ppd 28 and in other ways spoke about the need to consider and recognize the privacy rights of nonu.s. persons located outside the united states. do you agree that u.s. constitutional and privacy rights do not extend to nonu.s.
persons outside the united states. >> we're talking about the bill light of rights, protects the individual rights of united states citizens and individuals in the united states, by and large. and i'm also not aware of any statutory law that extends broad privacy and protection to foreigners abroad. >> is it a controversial statement of law that the u.s. constitution and statute does not extend nonu.s. persons located outside the united states. >> i don't think that will find that controversial. >> i'll agree. >> do you think they can take into account and would be in conducting espinage. >> i agree. >> can you commit to me that you'll read the 28 classified annex regarding the operational impacts on the community once you've received your security clearance.
>> yes, i look forward to doing that if i'm confirmed. >> i would like to turn my attention to section 702 now. and terrorist organizations, we utilize the whole tool kit, fully employing the capabilities, the courts and executive branch have provided to us consistent with our american ideals. part of that is section 702 director of national intelligence recently called upon the top legislative priority to have reauthorized the board expires the end of the year. will you please comment on the foreign intelligence surveillance act and general section 702 in particular to the cia mission. >> yeah, senator, i, obviously, have not been -- had access to the classified information on the benefits of 702. i have spoken to and i have read the statements of those who have
and they have, with broad consensus, all included, that it is a highly effective and valuable tool and it has disrupted -- it has played a key role in disrupting specific terrorist threats that were aimed at the united states and abro abroad. >> could you please describe some of the various layers of oversight and compliance that occur at the cia general counsel's office, as well as the department of justice and odni and here at this committee. >> there are many layers. i was discussing with senator king. with respect to inside the general counsel's office at the cia. cia lawyers provide in person training, and they sit with the officers who are -- offices who are doing the query. the cia does not do the collection of 702. they do have the ability to do clearing. outside of the agency, and that -- the agency's querying
has been audited by the -- the general counsel's office is involved in those audits. that same level of oversight occurs at the nsa with respect to odni and doj audits every 60 days and every single select r that is used under 702 is audited, a single one is made. in addition to the executive branch oversight, there's, of course, the inspector generals of the agencies have oversight authority as well outside of the executive branch. there is congressional oversight through the committees. there's also the -- it provides oversight by setting the standards and reviewing -- and being -- getting reports on any mistakes that are made. and then there's the fourth layerover oversight, which is limited to the privacy and oversight board, which did a thorough and detailed review of
the use of 702 established that it had been in the highly effective tool, disrupting specific terrorist plots and they also found, as i mentioned, to senator king, no traceover illegitimate activity or intentional misuse of the tool. >> thank you for the willingness to serve our country, once again. and thanks to all the men and women you'll be leading in the office of general counsel, which i think is great. >> thank you, sir. >> senator king. >> two very quick follow ups, one is, i think it's important to note that we've done a lot of talking about the poclov. there's only one member confirmed, and i hope that you will use your good offices to try to move that process along because this is an important part of the over all scheme here and right now we don't have a full compliment of board members. number two, i couldn't help but
notice when you answered the chairman's sort of five routine questions at the beginning, that you qualified them. he said will you keep the committee fully and currently informed, i will according to the law. i've never heard a witness use that, what's your mental reservation. >> consistent with the law. i'm holding out, as you know, the statute provides that there are limits with respect to protection of sources and methods. >> the agency is provided information subject holding to withholding operational details about sources and methods. >> that's what you were referring to. >> yes, sir. >> i understand that. that's fine. i was hoping there wasn't a broader excerpt. >> there's no broader principle. >> thank you. >> let me note for the record there have been some other
witnesses that have qualified fi, ff for, i think the same reason. >> i know this will go beyond kind of the focus of your job, this whole revisiting of how we're all briefed, what falls into which bucket, i'm candidly fully sure i appreciate and understand, although i think it will be very timely to revisit some of those -- which i feel like there are times when, in my mind, things that should advance presidential action, congress needs to be notified, not necessarily information that is simply sequestered into this very discrete group without having the full benefit of understanding would be worthwhile to re-examine. >> i would be very interested into digging into that and discussing with you, further.
>> i think all of my colleagues and -- i thank all of my colleagues for thoroughing of this witness. thank you for your willingness to serve and, two, the expertise you bring to this nomination. i'll work with the vase chairman as quickly as we can to have any post hearing questions presented to you. if you would expedite those back to us, we'll very quick lissette up confirmation hearing and hopefully get your nomination to the floor. we need you at the cia yesterday. thank you very much. >> thank you for your time. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, vice chair.
arenvironmental activist holding a march and rally today in washington dc to raise awareness about climate change. one of several rallies across the u.s.. here on c-span at 3:00 p.m. we will take you to the national mall. later today, president trump marks his first 100 days. that is underway live, 7:00 p.m. eastern. the white house correspondents dinner with comedian hassan minaj from the daily show.
president trump says he will not attend, making him the first resident in more than three decades to skip. we will have live coverage, 9:00 p.m. eastern here on c-span. >> sunday, join washington journalist 9:00 a.m. eastern for the annual cram for the exam, to help students prepare for the advanced placement u.s. government and politics exam. high school government teachers andrew and daniel will take your calls and review sample questions you might find on this year's exam. >> relax, condo -- calm down. there will be questions that you do not know. do not blame your teacher, do not try to withdraw your shout out, there will be questions you miss. we all do. do your best. if you don't know the answer, don't leave it blank. make a good guess. inkk less, inc. more --
more. >> if you blink on something, go back to what you do know. use context clues. you have studied hard. you have worked hard. your teachers crept you will. you well. >> it is always fun and informative, join us sunday at 9:00 eastern. >> attorney general jeff sessions talked about ethical standards at the justice department. he spoke earlier this week at the ethics and compliance initiative conference in washington dc. this is about 40 minutes. minutes. >> good cap: -- pat: